Year: 2020

Food: Dinner Tonight – Shepherd’s Pie

Yes, you read it correctly – Shepherd’s Pie is a staple meal in our household and something I haven’t put together in a long while for efforting to cut down on carbs – but tonight, actually at 5 a.m. this morning I was craving Shepherd’s Pie  – except, I wanted to snaz up my recipe consisting of only simple ingredients (ground beef, corn, and mashed potatoes)  into something like this recipe. Ingredients  Filling 1/2 cup French green lentils 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil 1/2 pound ground beef or lamb (I like using 15 to 20% fat) Kosher salt Freshly ground black pepper 8 ounces mushrooms, such as shitake, crimini, or button, sliced 1 medium yellow onion, finely chopped 2 medium carrots, finely chopped 1 large fennel bulb (stems and fronds included), finely chopped 2 tablespoons chopped thyme leaves 2 tablespoons tomato paste 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour 1/4 cup dry red wine, optional 2 cups low-sodium vegetable stock 1 cup fresh or frozen peas 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce Topping Kosher salt 1 1/2 pounds (about 4 to 5 medium) Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled and cut into 1-inch chunks 1 pound (about 2 to 3 medium) parsnips, peeled and cut into 1-inch chunks 1/4 cup unsalted butter 1/4 cup whole milk, …

Today’s Articles of Interest – A Great Distraction if You Are Having A Bad Day

There was much shock to my system on Saturday from back to back bad news – to the point I spent the entire night awake, unable to breathe or shake it off, which naturally carried over to Sunday, where I took my routine 3-4 mile walk in a daze. The only thing I want to remember from the weekend, is that sometimes you need a few days to heal before moving on  – looking ahead, and moving forward. It’s all we can do when faced with traumatic events on a daily, weekly or monthly basis. This morning, I decided to actually go into the office, instead of working from home, to assist in the healing process, about a topic I am not yet ready to talk about. {featured image source}

Lifestyle: Do You Ever Ask Yourself?

I bought a book a while ago at a small boutique store in Burlingame, California titled Celebrating You, by M.H. Clark – which by the way is now on sale on Amazon. The book was published in 2012, with the most lovable illustrations by Jill Labieniec .   At the time I really needed someone to tell me that I was okay, that I was appreciated for all the things that I do, and that I am. But I didn’t know that I needed to hear it. It was when I found the book in the store, and thumbed through the witty reminders  on each page, when I recognized the importance of being appreciated.  The book, which helped me through the darkest of days and nights, now sits on the floor-to-ceiling bookshelf,  I use as my headboard, in my studio apartment. It is the closest to my reach, and each night I glance at the cover before turning in. Call me a funny-girl, but this little book is my beacon of hope. This year, I will …

Travel: Would You Stay In An Underwater Hotel?

I do love the water, and I live by the ocean in San Francisco, and throughout all my travels I always include a destination connected to some body of water – but a hotel immersed in water is something I have yet to experience or even consider being submerged,  for fear of tapping into my claustrophobia. But, would you if you could – stay in an underwater hotel?   On another topic – to recline or not to recline- that is the latest question for when flying, especially on a long haul – Here’s what they say.  Do you agree or disagree? Do you recline? I seldom do – too mindful of the travelers around me I suppose.  {featured image source}

Boutique Hotel Pick – JK Place – Capri, Italy

I haven’t been to Capri in 20 years, but I remember it fondly. So last night, my wanderlust had me searching Netflix and Amazon Prime for films based on the Island and naturally all of Italy. Which I found and listed below for your reference. But for the sake of this post, a boutique hotel pick in Capri was all I can think about for the planning stages of a trip this year to this romantic destination, brimming with breath-taking scenery, cuisine and nightlife, and some of the best beaches in the world.  As for me, I crave smaller details and sometimes luxury in accommodations , because I spend a great deal of time in my room, penning from the inspiration I draw by my environment, whether here or the next novel. And this hotel will suit me just fine, while in Capri. Care to join? Here’s a list of films made in or about Capri, but my all time favorite classic – It Started in Naples – but really mostly in Capri  {featured image …

Food: Dinner Tonight – Pasta with Roasted Red Pepper Vodka

Short work weeks are great – even though they sometimes feel the longest. Do you ever feel that way? But there is one thing for certain – I love home cook meals, and actually and no matter how tired, I am – I look forward to rolling up my sleeves, or getting into my comfy clothes, and putting my hair up and opening up the refrigerator door to see what wonderful meal I can prep. Last night – around midnight I woke up craving pasta – which is something I try to limit making – carbs and all. And yes there are noodle variations, but I like to keep it real with the carb. 😉 Anyway, I searched for a different option than the normal spaghetti with meat sauce and this wonderful recipe popped up,  and guess what, it’s happening tonight!  I think I’ll add chicken pieces and even some whole peanuts – weird you might think, but I have a palette for these things. INGREDIENTS 6 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil 3/4 cup Panko breadcrumbs 2 tablespoons fresh oregano leaves …

When You Can’t Get Away On A Long Weekend

This weekend is President’s Day in the U.S. – honoring all the men who have led this country in one direction or another. The interesting thing for this year, was that Valentine’s Day coincided with President’s Holiday – which means one can opt for a long weekend, if planned right. But how about some of us who, due to some serious obligations, did not leave us much room to plan – to escape for a four day weekend. So we improvised – hubs and I, dressed in comfy clothes, with backpack in tow, and we walked across the city, each day in a different direction, exploring new neighborhoods, or ones we haven’t been to for years, and experienced new eateries – some good, some I rather not talk about (I swear 4.5 star ratings are sometimes fabricated). We took photographs, stopped to enjoy the views, and even were thought of as tourists, in our own town. Which felt great and for the three days – being Fri-Sun, we escaped from all of our troubles and …

Travel: By Train From England and other Destinations

Travel by train is my choice, and if we had the luxury throughout the U.S. to do so in an efficient manner, I would be somewhere every weekend. So, I have to plan trips throughout Europe to experience some of the best train travel. Here’s a few I am considering,  past Paris, during my next extended trip to England. How about you – do you love train travel? For some of the best adventures – go here